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W&L Education Studies Professor and Student Co-Author Journal Article Professor Eric Moffa and Jake Winston ’24 penned the article which appeared in The Social Studies Journal.

Eric-Moffa-scaled-600x400 W&L Education Studies Professor and Student Co-Author Journal ArticleEric Moffa, assistant professor of education

Washington and Lee Assistant Professor of Education Eric Moffa and student Jake Winston ’24 co-authored a journal article titled “Examining Virginia’s African American History Course through the Lens of Racial Pedagogical Content Knowledge” which appeared in the most recent edition of the peer-reviewed journal The Social Studies.

During the 2020-21 academic year, Virginia piloted a state-designed secondary African American history elective in 16 school divisions after then-Governor Ralph Northam declared that the state must do a better job educating students about the contributions of African Americans to the state and country, and help students draw connections between historic racial inequities and their continuous influence on our communities today.

“I believe this research was quite timely as the state is currently experiencing many controversial policy changes about the teaching of race in K-12 public schools,” said Moffa. “I think the most compelling finding from the study is that the treatment of race in the state-designed African American course doesn’t align with the political portrayal of critical race theory as divisive.”

Moffa and Winston used the framework of Racial Pedagogical Content Knowledge (RPCK) to examine the treatment of race in the new course by analyzing the state-created curriculum materials and interviewing three teachers that were part of the pilot program.

“Collaborating with Jake Winston was a joy,” noted Moffa. “He is an intelligent student who is passionate about teaching, history and the politics of education. It’s an honor to work with students of his caliber in our education studies program.”

Winston is an American history major from Holly Springs, North Carolina. He serves as the National Political Analyst for the Mock Convention and he is president of the W&L Hillel Student Board. Winston is also a peer tutor through the Harte Center for Teaching and Learning.

Moffa first arrived at W&L in 2016 as a visiting assistant professor. He has served as an assistant professor at W&L since 2019. Moffa holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies education, a master’s degree in professional studies from Fairmont State, and a doctorate of education in curriculum and instruction/social studies education from West Virginia University.

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